Toss out that packet of spaghetti and swap it for zoodles.
These zucchini noodles are ten times healthier than store-bought spaghetti: they are low-carb, nutrient-packed, and are better for the gut, too. If you’re someone who doesn’t hesitate before digging into regular pasta, I’m sure your body will thank you for changing things up a bit.
With a bit of spiralizing and sauce-making, you’ll have a hearty bowl of soft zucchini pasta with the creamiest avocado spinach sauce that’s just as healthy. We get the cream entirely from the avocado, and the blended spinach turns into a light, tangy pesto.
I’ve never been so keen to follow my doctor’s advice to “eat your greens, Cassandra”. If I’d known about this amazing recipe earlier, I would’ve started a long time ago!
Did I also mention that it’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and keto-friendly? And just like regular pasta, it is incredibly simple to cook, and will keep you full for hours, be it for lunch or dinner.
Do I Need A Spiralizer to Make Zoodles?
I highly recommend getting a spiralizer to make zoodles the easy way. It’s definitely worth the investment since it saves you so much time spiralizing other things like butternut squash, apples, carrots, and beet. A regular handheld spiralizer costs about $30, whilst its heavy-duty counterpart, the standing spiralizer will set you back around $80.
To spiralize zucchini without a spiralizer, get your knife and carefully julienne the zucchini into ¼ inch wide strips lengthwise. Alternatively, use a vegetable peeler to peel zucchini into fettuccine-like strips.
If your local grocery store sells ready-made spiralized zucchini, go for it!
These zoodles with avocado cream sauce taste so heavenly. Whenever I serve it to my family, they just gobble it all down, hardly noticing that everything is made of vegetables. The ingredients in this recipe are:
- Large zucchinis – Spiralized or julienned ¼ inch long. See the Expert Tips section for how to get the best zucchini noodles for this recipe.
- Avocados – The riper the avocados, the better! This will be the base of the cream sauce.
- Fresh spinach – Wash the leaves of 4 cups of fresh spinach for the pesto. You can also swap with basil leaves if desired.
- Garlic cloves – This recipe uses 4 cloves of garlic (or garlic powder) for that wonderful umami and depth in the sauce. Garlic lovers, I know what you’re thinking… go ahead and use more of it.
- Olive oil – Measure a ½ cup of olive oil or extra virgin olive oil.
- Lemon – Squeeze the juice of half a lemon.
- Parmesan cheese – A ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese can do wonders for the avocado sauce. We will also grate some over the top as garnish. Leave this ingredient out if you are going vegan for this recipe.
- Salt and pepper – For seasoning. 1 teaspoon each, or to taste.
Step One: Spiralize the zucchini and pat them dry with paper towels to drain the moisture. Place the ‘zoodles’ in a colander over the sink and toss with salt to remove excess water. After 30 minutes, squeeze the zoodles gently to release some additional water.
- Pro Tip: Do NOT keep squeezing them to get out every last drop. This will make them too mushy and lifeless. Just get most of it out.
Step Two: Whilst draining the zucchini noodles, make the sauce. In a food processor or blender, pulse the avocado, spinach, garlic, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, and pepper until smooth.
Step Three: Cook the zoodles over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until warmed through. Some people like to eat zoodles raw since they’re crunchier and more al dente – your choice.
- Pro Tip: Zucchini noodles should not be treated like regular noodles. Don’t boil zucchini like you would regular pasta. Instead, saute the zucchini noodles on the stove with a touch of olive oil until they are soft. This way, you keep all the good nutrients in.
Step Four: Now, mix the avocado sauce with the zoodles (I like to use kitchen tongs, but a fork and spoon will work). Heat on medium-low heat until warm for about 3 minutes.
Step Five: Serve the creamy coated zucchini pasta in a bowl and garnish it with grated parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, or cherry tomatoes. Bon Appetit!
How to use a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles
After washing the zucchini, cut off each end (no need to peel the skin off). Then, cut each zucchini in half so it fits in your spiralizer. Place one zucchini half in your spiralizer, then spin and watch those curly noodles come out the other end. Be sure to use constant pressure while you’re spiralizing for long and uniform zoodles (now is not the time to multitask).
Cooking this for later?
This zucchini pasta tastes the best when served immediately, however, if you intend to keep leftovers for later, cover it tightly in saran wrap. Any exposure to air and your avocado sauce will brown easily. Its taste would not have altered much, but a muddy-looking sauce isn’t the most appetizing thing.
Toppings & Variations
Add more vegetables
This recipe is already plenty healthy, but if you want to take advantage of it and double down on your vegetables, why not add onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms? Simply roast or boil the veggies and stir them into your pasta.
Zucchini pasta works just like any regular pasta, as we’ve established. This means a green light for any of your favorite pasta sauces. Be it marinara, aglio olio, bolognese, or carbonara, using zucchini noodles is a smart way to enjoy pasta while still maintaining your veggie intake. Love zucchini? These zucchini bread overnight oats and parmesan chicken with zucchini and potatoes will surely satisfy your zucchini cravings.
Zucchini Pasta Recipe
- 6 large zucchini's spiralized
- 2 avocados
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemons juiced
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
- parmesan cheese grated
- Spiralize your zucchini or purchase from your local grocery store pre-spiralized zucchini.
- Pat zucchini noodles dry with paper towels after spiralizing them.
- After patting dry, place the spiralized zucchini ‘zoodles’ in a colander over the sink and toss with salt. Let them sit for 30 minutes. The salt will bring out the water. After 30 minutes, squeeze the zoodles gently to release some additional water.
- Meanwhile in a food processor or blender add the avocado, spinach, garlic, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt + pepper and pulse until smooth.
- Cook the zoodles over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until warmed through.
- Now add the avocado sauce mixture mixing all together with kitchen tongs. Heat on medium low heat until warm for about 3 minutes.
- Take off the heat and place in a bowl and top with parmesan cheese.